TG4 All Ireland Junior Championship Group A – Rnd 1
By Ruairi O’Connor
London suffered a two-point loss to Leinster Junior champions Carlow in the opening round of the All Ireland JFC Championship at McGovern Park, Ruislip, on Saturday.
Despite an electric start by London, it was Carlow who managed to gain control in the second half and closed out the match with some sturdy defence.
The Exiles started the encounter looking much more confident in their abilities than Carlow and threatened to gain an unassailable lead very early on, shooting out to a six-point lead within 10 minutes.
Parnells’ forward duo of Aoife Herbert and Lisa Cafferkey were instrumental during the opening period scoring five of London’s opening six points – including one glorious point for Herbert, running off of her Parnells colleague Cafferkey and curling her effort over the bar from 25 metres.
The visitors could not get on the scoreboard until the 12th minute, but Carlow forward Elaine Ware’s point was swiftly cancelled out by another of London’s Parnells cohort, Catriona McGahan.
Just after trading points, there came a substantial stoppage in play around a quarter of the way through the game.
Carlow midfielder Edel Hayden went down awkwardly after an innocuous collision with London captain Helen Hughes.
Hayden had to be stretchered from the pitch, but did return to the dugout to watch the second half, seemingly struggling with a knee injury.
This stoppage appeared to allow Carlow to regroup and rebuild from the onslaught they had suffered early on, and mount a comeback.
The first of Carlow’s three goals of the day came in the 16th minute through centre half-forward Aoibheann Gilmartin. Gilmartin ghosted past a tackle before attempting to take a score from just over 20 metres.
The Carlow forward’s shot was misread by London goalkeeper Marie King and she could not stop the ball dropping over the line, which swung the momentum in Carlow’s favour.
London did offer a quick response however, through Cafferkey again – who had an absolutely stunning first half.
Carlow scorers: R Sawyer 2-2, E Ware 0-4, A Gilmartin 1-0, S Ruth 0- 1, C Mullins 0-1.
London scorers: L Cafferkey 1-7 (2f), A Herbert 0-2 (1f), C McGahan 0-2, N O’Brien 0-1 (1f).
CARLOW: N Hanley; L Barry, A Dooley, A Dowling; N Forde, E Atkinson, M Dermody; S Ruth, E Hayden; C Mullins, A Gilmartin, L Mullins; R Sawyer, E Ware, M Hayden. Subs: A Byrne for E Hayden, O Hickey for M Hayden, D Tomlinson for Byrne.
LONDON: M King; A Greene, F Morrissey, N O’Brien; H Hughes, E McManus, A Healy; N Cocoman, H Noonan; A Herbert, R Mills, C McGahan; A Burke, L Cafferkey, C Hegarty. Subs: N Daly for Greene, P Marmion for Healy, C Barrett for McManus.